Washington (UPI) May 4, 2011
Soaring food prices are hurting the poor and underprivileged and undermining Latin American governments' efforts to control inflation, the Inter-American Development Bank said.
The bank's findings followed reports that Latin American governments, faced with large inflows of foreign investment and resulting appreciation of their currencies, were also up against inflationary trends that could destabilize their economies.
Foreign investors' cash has flowed into Latin America because of lucrative interest earnings and the rising regional currencies have hit exports. In the meantime, high liquidity levels have pushed domestic consumer prices, affecting the legions of the poor and underprivileged.
Latin America is frequently criticized by rights campaigners for having some of the longest running and least effective poverty reduction programs that are used by politicians as vote-winners each time there is an election.
IDB said more needed to be done soon to protect the region's poor from the combined effect of high prices, inflation and underemployment.
Net food importers with a greater share of spending concentrated on tradable foodstuffs and with little chance of currency appreciation will be the hardest hit by higher international food prices, IDB said.
Most exposed are the poor citizens of Latin American countries that haven't seen their currencies rise, as in Brazil and Chile. The bank cited problems in 13 countries directly affected by recent increases in international food prices.
Those countries' problems were compounded by the rising oil prices, the bank said.
However, it said that higher oil prices would only significantly affect inflation in a small number of countries in the region through 2011.
Argentina, Brazil and Chile have all launched vigorous oil exploration programs. Venezuela and Ecuador are major oil exporters.
IDB said aid programs need to be more focused.
"There is a need to increase and improve targeting of aid, perhaps through reformed conditional cash transfer schemes, to these groups to compensate the effect of the food price surge," the bank said in a policy note n how "the food price shock" will affect inflation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
It said that flexible exchange rates in other countries of the region had the potential to offset the impact on domestic prices but that raised other concerns. A significant nominal appreciation may affect the competitiveness of other tradable sectors. The challenge for net commodity exporters is to harness the current windfall and ensure that the economy remains competitive, the bank said.
Argentina, Brazil and Chile are major commodity exporters that also face renewed inflationary pressures.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
Market Lighting Affects Nutrients
Washington DC (SPX) May 04, 2011
Many people reach toward the back of the fresh-produce shelf to find the freshest salad greens with the latest expiration dates. But a study led by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists may prompt consumers to instead look for packages that receive the greatest exposure to light--usually those found closest to the front. The study was led by postharvest plant physiologist Gene L ... read more
Internet satellite images available to all|
Esri and DOI Introduce Landsat Data for the World
Satellites Reveal Tornado Tracks in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama
NASA Mission Seeks to Uncover a Rainfall Mystery
Apple update fixes iPhone tracking "bugs"
Russia, Sweden to boost space cooperation
GPS Operational Control Segment Enters Service With USAF
Apple denies tracking iPhones, to fix 'bugs'
First rainforests arose when plants solved plumbing problem
Indonesia, EU sign pact on sustainable timber
Planting trees could help koalas
Era of canopy crane ending
Formidable fungal force counters biofuel plant pathogens
Interjet and Airbus Conduct First Biofuel Flight in the Country
BioJet and Abundant Biofuels Agree to Merge
Food vs fuel: the debate is over
American Vision Brings New 'Light' to Solar Energy
Natcore Technology Successfully Uses LPD Process on Textured Solar Cells
Southwest Solar Announces New Collaboration at Research Park
Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation Installs Solar Panels
Evolutionary lessons for wind farm efficiency
Global warming won't harm wind energy production, climate models predict
Study: Warming won't lessen wind energy
Mortenson Construction to Build its 100th Wind Project
Eight trapped in flooded China mine: state media
Wyoming to expand coal mining
China mine explosion kills 11, two missing
Wyoming coal leases to be auctioned
US says to raise rights in China talks
China rejects foreign protests over Ai Weiwei
China frees rights lawyer but another disappears
China Hilton shareholder gets life for organised crime
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|